Business E-Commerce

A Big Victory for the Sharing Economy

One of the many New York apartments available to rent on Airbnb

A New York City Airbnb host has won an appeal with the New York City Environmental Control Board after being fined for renting out a room in his apartment, Airbnb reported on its Public Policy Blog. The Board reversed Nigel Warren’s $2,400 fine, delivering a major victory for Airbnb and the entire sharing economy. Airbnb is “a global community marketplace that connects travelers seeking authentic, high-quality accommodations with hosts who offer unique places to stay.” Unfortunately, many cities do not allow these temporary rentals. But Warren and Airbnb were able to successfully argue that as long as a permanent occupant is present during the stay, it does not violate New York law.   More

Business Cities

This Native Detroiter Feels the Pull of Home

From left, David Kirkpatrick, Jack Dorsey, Scott Moloney, Catherine Kelly, Alex Southern

In the days since Techonomy Detroit, I'm more hopeful about my hometown than I have been since I left for New York to go to Columbia University 30 years ago. Yet before I headed to the conference, when I joked with media and tech pals that I was on my way to “the Paris of Southeastern Michigan,” I’d get a laugh or a look of grave concern. In their eyes, a place I love was a disaster zone, a dear family member on the critical list.   More

Global Tech

Is China’s “Internet Concession” Too Late for Facebook?

In the land of the "world's biggest online population" Facebook has "almost zero" users, Reuters reports. Of course, that's because, since 2009, the Chinese government has blocked its citizens' access to the U.S. social media leader. Likewise, it has blocked Twitter. But when the ban is finally lifted in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone this weekend, crowds are not expected to rush on to either site.   More

Manufacturing

TechShop: Democratizing Manufacturing and Creating Personal Industrial Revolutions

tech shop welding

“It took the U.S. and Europe 150 years to go through the Industrial Revolution. Now, you can go through your own personal industrial revolution in 90 days.” At least that’s what TechShop CEO Mark Hatch told Yahoo! Small Business writer Adrienne Burke (also a regular contributor to Techonomy). TechShop is a membership-based DIY workshop with six locations around the country, each with about $1 million worth of advanced machinery and software. Members pay just $125 dollars for monthly access to a plethora of design, prototyping, and manufacturing tools.   More

Global Tech Internet of Things

Weibo, Hisense Explore Internet of Things

hisense

Social networking apps have become the flavor of the day among Chinese Internet firms, especially in the mobile space, and it’s rare to go more than a week or two without reports of a big new move by a major player in the space. Amid all that chatter, I was intrigued to read the latest report of an interesting new tie-up between leading microblog operator Sina Weibo and appliance maker Hisense into the unlikely field of smart air conditioners.   More

Cities Internet of Things

Can the Internet of Everything Help Cities?

Michael Mandel speaking at the Techonomy Detroit 2013 conference.

Local governments are about delivering services and getting things done: Fixing highways, running buses, picking up trash, ensuring public safety, educating children. To do their job in an era of tight finances, what’s needed are technologies that make public services better and cheaper, and improve the quality of life for urban Americans without increasing costs. So far the Internet and the shift to digital has boosted the efficiency of smart local governments, increased transparency, and made it easier to communicate with local residents.   More

Business Manufacturing

TechShop Seeks Big Bucks Using JOBS Act

A TechShop maker cuts metal on a flowjet in the Detroit facility.

With the public announcement of a $60 million investment offering this morning, TechShop is among the first to attempt to leverage eased fundraising regulations made possible by the JOBS Act. An 80-year SEC ban on general solicitation and advertising for certain offerings was lifted today as a result of the act. TechShop CEO Mark Hatch, who spoke at Techonomy Detroit 2012, told us Friday that the company is seeking $30 million in a Series B Preferred stock offering to support corporate overhead, and $30 million more in loans to fund construction of at least 11 new local TechShop facilities, support the new location in Pittsburgh, and relocate the one in Menlo Park.   More

Global Tech

Beirut’s Coders Convene for Community and Social Progress

LebGeeks founder Samer Nakfour (photo by Jo Baaklini)

AltCity is a co-working space tucked away from the hustle and bustle of one of Beirut’s busiest neighborhoods, Hamra. On a Friday summer night, a mostly male crowd is settling in for the second in a series of Programmer Talks hosted by LebGeeks, an online forum and community for Lebanese technophiles. The room is filling up fast and buzzing with Arabic chatter, before the English-language presentations begin. The small space boasts typical techie décor: bean bag chairs, neon painted pipes, concrete floors, white boards galore   More

Internet of Things

“Rise of the Machines” Forecasts a Digitized Future that is Happy, Healthy—and Scary

CNBC's Melissa Lee in a driverless car

We have seen a glorified yet apprehensive vision of the future in literature and film for years, from Jules Verne to “The Jetsons.” These fictional portrayals of the future suggest that while new inventions and computers will make our lives easier, there are risks involved—especially as computers become more and more humanlike. Today this fiction is almost a reality. “Rise of the Machines,” a documentary that aired last week on CNBC, explores the risks and rewards of the very real Internet of Things, where machines speak to each other and us to solve problems and make our world smarter.   More

Business

Dorsey Tells Entrepreneurs: Meet Customers Where They Are

From left, David Kirkpatrick, Jack Dorsey, Scott Moloney, Catherine Kelly, and Alex Southern (photo by Asa Mathat)

An ice cream maker, a newspaper publisher, food trucks, pop-up shops, and numerous farmers’ market vendors are among the thousands of small businesses in Detroit using mobile apps invented by Jack Dorsey—namely Twitter and Square—to win customers, manage sales, and save time. In fact, Square has already helped to power $174 million in transactions for 5,500 Detroit businesses, the company claims. And at Techonomy Detroit this week Dorsey said entrepreneurs can expect more developments targeted to their businesses from him in the future.   More

Manufacturing

How the Maker Movement Is Reinventing Retail

From left, Lou Rassey, Matt Clayson, Chad Dickerson, Marleen Vogelaar, and K. Venkatesh Prasad

The jury is still out on whether the maker movement could bring about a new American industrial revolution. But anecdotal evidence suggests it is well on its way to reinventing retail. Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and Shapeways co-founder Marleen Vogelaar joined Detroit Creative Corridor Center director Matt Clayson and Ford’s open innovation guru K. Venkatesh Prasad for a “maker movement” discussion moderated by McKinsey & Company principal Lou Rassey at the Techonomy Detroit conference.   More

Detroit 13 Government Video

A Conversation with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick speaks with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder at the Techonomy Detroit 2013 conference. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Video

Turbo Charging Detroit’s Techonomy

Catherine Kelly of Michigan Citizen News, Scott Moloney of Treat Dreams, and Alex Southern of GrowDetroit join Square CEO and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick for a discussion about how Detroit's economy can thrive in a technologized age. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Cities Video

City Re-Vision: Towards a Techonomic Detroit

Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans and Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution join Edward Luce of the Financial Times for a discussion about Detroit's economic future. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Learning Video

Education 2.0 for Americans 2.0

John Wm. Covington of the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, Marlin Page of Sisters Code, Hector Ruiz of Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions, and Cisco's Tae Yoo join Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick to discuss education in a technologized age. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Manufacturing Video

A New Age of Manufacturing

Zachary Karabell of River Twice Research interviews Rethink Robotics founder Rodney Brooks about the evolution of manufacturing in a technologized economy. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Manufacturing Video

Can the Maker Movement Re-Make America?

Matt Clayson of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, Etsy's Chad Dickerson, Ford's K. Venkatesh Prasad, and Marleen Vogelaar of Shapeways join McKinsey's Lou Rassey to discuss the impact of the maker movement on the U.S. economy. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Video

The New People Rules in a Virtual World

Keith Ferrazzi of Ferrazzi Greenlight Productions discusses the new era and new rules of networking. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Startup Culture Video

Everybody’s Starting Something

Jocelyn Benson of Wayne State University, Josh Linkner of Detroit Venture Partners, and Venture for America's Andrew Yang join Tom Walsh to discuss the new wave of startup culture. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Detroit 13 Cities Video

What Makes a City Great?

Patrick Finn of McKinsey & Company discusses the latest studies about what makes a city work. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More